When it comes to booster club printed materials, there’s a potential laundry list of forms and documents a booster club could create during the school year, but how much of them are truly necessary? Certainly, there are some official documents and financial reports that must be completed and printed for submission to the school board and for tax purposes. But the advent of the digital age is changing the way clubs operate making some print work obsolete.
Proper booster club management involves both new and existing booster clubs documenting their status as a non-profit with the school or organization they support and making available printed copies of their charter, tax-exempt certificate and club bylaws. Once they’re up and running, annually reviewed guidelines and tax filings ensure the club remains compliant and provides transparency with the public. Most times these are in both digital and print form, so print only as many copies as is necessary to provide to leadership and those regulatory entities.
Beyond these organizational requirements, booster club printed materials in past would often encompass a hefty portion of their budget. Having a physical copy of meeting notes, business cards for club leaders or paper applications for volunteers may seem appropriate, but essentially they are wasteful. Officers change yearly, so club members often do not need business cards in lieu of sharing their contact information digitally. Both meeting records and application forms should be recorded using an electronic device, like a smartphone, tablet or computer. Storing important records digitally can increase responsible access to it, and it safeguards this information against being misplaced, misfiled or lost.
Social marketing instead of booster club printed materials
In days past, activities and information were shared in a printed bi-weekly or monthly bulletin. Booster club marketing plays out differently in this digital age. Ideas are discussed, events are promoted, and other communications can be shared instantly with an email or a tweet. Many clubs host a Facebook page dedicated to highlighting students and their activities, versus the traditional printed club newsletter. Sharing this way can generate more involvement from the school and the community as they react to, share and comment on these postings. And setup is free, so no overhead for site hosting.
However, clubs with a website do have the advantage of online promoting, fundraising and generating support from their platform, which further eliminates the need for formal print work. Supporters and community members can learn of upcoming activities, sign up to receive routine emails and even apply to be a volunteer via the site. This way, information and documentation are stored in digital form, greatly reducing the amount of print marketing a club may feel the need to use.
Flyers and banners and signage, oh my
Raising money, awareness and donations historically involved a budget for booster club printed materials as part of the marketing plan. Though having a large-scale banner or table skirt for promotional events and fundraisers is important, these one off types of booster club printed materials can be acquired at little to no cost as the school, a donor or a business sponsor can provide these. Clubs can generate yearly funding from businesses through renewable annual sponsorship of signage for the athletic field, concert hall and event locations.
At these functions, other booster club printed materials that were typically on hand in the past were stacks of printed collateral for attendees to take and read. But inevitably most would find their way into a trash can or be left scattered across a parking lot. Skip the trip to a local print shop in favor of a smaller number of stand-alone table toppers that provide a QR code for mobile devices to scan. The code quickly and effectively directs traffic to the club website or Facebook page.
What booster club printed materials to have printed
Utilizing social media along with digital and online platforms to store and disseminate information will save money on printing costs and save time in dealing with paperwork. But not everything can be done in a paperless fashion. So what does booster club management need to print? It’s simple – think special occasions.
Special occasions are the right time to budget for printed materials. Raise money with printed meal vouchers that are sold at home games to cover meals for the team when they travel. Work with a local trophy shop to custom design and print award certificates to celebrate best performance winners or highest honor recipients. The money not used for other mundane forms and documents can be used to embellish graduation plaques. And don’t forget to print thank you cards for capital sponsors and elite donors. Feature the students on them as a way to show appreciation from the student and the booster club management team.
Mix and match for the win
Booster club printed materials have scaled down over the years, and likely will continue to do so. Regulatory and tax-related forms exist in print and digital form to allow for greater accessibility and responsible storage. Clubs that properly utilize social media will increase awareness of the club and student activities, without spending additional money. Digitally sharing information is more efficient than print work, and often more engaging for everyone to use. Go big for special occasions and print marketing materials that would be difficult to share otherwise.